Sony VPL-HS51A Cineza LCD Projector Review!

Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
<A href="http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/avhardware/SonyCinezaVPLHS51Ap1.php"><IMG style="WIDTH: 125px; HEIGHT: 94px" alt=[SonyCinezaVPLHS51A] hspace=10 src="http://www.audioholics.com/news/thumbs/SonyCinezaVPLHS51A_th.jpg" align=left border=0></A>Sony made a splash with its VPL-HS51 Cineza LCD projector at last year's CEDIA. It had a 6000:1 contrast ratio that, for possibly the first time, rivaled DLP, thanks in no small part to a dynamic iris system. While we wanted to get our hands on a review sample, our schedule pushed it off until now when we finally got our hands on the newly improved VPL-HS51A. The 'A' denotes a slightly revised model that now boasts a 10,000:1 stated contrast ratio. With its price point coming in right at the sweet spot of those wanting to get into decent quality 720p projectors - we were anxious to run the Sony through our barrage of tests.

[Read the Review]
 
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N

ned

Full Audioholic
Great review! I'm impressed with the 50% horizontal shift, something that I miss from my H78DC3.
 
A

awesomebase

Audioholic
Excellent!

I've always wanted this projector (actually the original VPL-HS51) for the home theater I'm building and this review provided some great info on the update.
The only thing I would mention is that there is another Sony projector (it is a 1080p projector with an MSRP of $10K) that I think takes the cake for claimed contrast levels at 15,000 to 1. It came out in August or September of 2005 and I remember thinking the same thing as you stated in your review about just how ridiculous this "measure" is going to get!
:D
 
N

ned

Full Audioholic
awesomebase said:
I've always wanted this projector (actually the original VPL-HS51) for the home theater I'm building and this review provided some great info on the update.
The only thing I would mention is that there is another Sony projector (it is a 1080p projector with an MSRP of $10K) that I think takes the cake for claimed contrast levels at 15,000 to 1. It came out in August or September of 2005 and I remember thinking the same thing as you stated in your review about just how ridiculous this "measure" is going to get!
:D
Are you referiing to the Ruby?
 
jcPanny

jcPanny

Audioholic Ninja
LCD Projector screen shot

So is the competitors LCD projector your Yamaha or was it the new Panasonic AE900U?
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
That's the Panasonic PT-AE900U. It was just courtesy not to put the name in there.
 
M

MAX661

Audioholic
So if you had to make a decision on which one to get would it be the Sony or Panasonic Clint?
 
T

The Dukester

Audioholic Chief
I've been chomping at the bit to see this review. So, how do you think it stacks up with the Panny, the Yamaha you have at your house and the Optoma HD72? Would you prefer one over the other in a room where light is not totally controled with offwhite walls or just match the screen up to the pj?

Thanks,
Duke
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
What about the lens shift? Is that locking yet? A lot of people complained that the lens shift with the old model didn't lock which often caused the lens to move out of alignment after a brief period of time... or if someone walked on the floor upstairs.

Also - gotta say that the 3,000 hour claimed lamp life almost seems like a joke. Why bother making any lamp life claims when the warranty is for 90 days on lamps? I know some may (MAY!) see that time frame, but really... about 1,000 -> 2,000 hours seems much more realistic when talking lamp life.

I like the Sony's a lot, but they are often tough to find a good deal on and the competition from DLP projectors which cost less and the other batch of LCD projectors which cost far less seems to me to make the value seem a bit inaccurate.

Plus - why is it that in several generations of Cineza Sony STILL does not have a decent deinterlacer on board? This isn't a new problem but is several years old!

Finally - were tests made on how the unit responded with light output in lens shifted positions and at different zoom distances? This has been brought up as having a dramatic impact on image quality and light output from the HS-51 before?

Not that ANY of those things takes away from a great projector... it just seems a bit expensive to me and not nearly worth a 5 star value rating when compared to the competition right now. Just an IMO though.
 
C

cthomp

Junior Audioholic
Thanks for the review on the Sony! I will be purchasing a projector soon and need all the input I can get, since I do not have the luxury of actually seeing any of these in action here in Alaska. I am torn between 4 projectors at this point. The Panny PT-AE900U, Sanyo PLV-Z4, Sony VPL-HS51A and the Optoma HD72. I too would like Clint's opinion on which he would prefer. It is really hard to pass up on the Panny with the current $700 rebate! $400 cash and $300 in Blockbuster coupons. On the other hand the Sanyo comes with a free spare lamp ($300). Both the Panasonic and the Sanyo can be had for approx. $1500 (taking rebates in to consideration). The best price I have seen on the Sony is $2500. Is the Sony $1000 better? I would be interested in seeing how Madagascar looks on the Panasonic vs the Sony! I have read both Clint's reviews and the AE900U outscores the Sony 71 vs 44. How is the Sony a 5 star value? Which projector would be better for standard definition viewing (Dish Network)? Will you be reviewing the Sanyo soon? Keep up the good work and Thanks! :)
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
awesomebase said:
I've always wanted this projector (actually the original VPL-HS51) for the home theater I'm building and this review provided some great info on the update.
The only thing I would mention is that there is another Sony projector (it is a 1080p projector with an MSRP of $10K) that I think takes the cake for claimed contrast levels at 15,000 to 1. It came out in August or September of 2005 and I remember thinking the same thing as you stated in your review about just how ridiculous this "measure" is going to get!
:D

Yes, as stated above, that is the Ruby, as it is known in some circles, at AVS.

High contrast gives that film level shadings in dark scenes valued by videophiles. So, I am not sure where the limit is.

That Ruby is a 3 color processor, LCOS. It was very well reviewed in Wide Screen Review in Dec 05. It can put out the necessary foot-Lamberts what is a movie theater standard, 16 fL but on average few show. I am contemplating this Ruby.
 
Hi Ho

Hi Ho

Audioholic Samurai
Very nice review, too bad it's a Sony product or I might even consider it.

I'm looking forward to your review of the Z4! :)
 
L

LEVESQUE

Junior Audioholic
mtrycrafts said:
Yes, as stated above, that is the Ruby, as it is known in some circles, at AVS.
High contrast gives that film level shadings in dark scenes valued by videophiles. So, I am not sure where the limit is.
With some tweaking in the factory menu, I just measured my "Ruby" at 30000:1... :D Sony's settings for the iris are not very good OOTB.

The picture is outstanding.
 
T

The Dukester

Audioholic Chief
cthomp said:
Thanks for the review on the Sony! I will be purchasing a projector soon and need all the input I can get, since I do not have the luxury of actually seeing any of these in action here in Alaska. I am torn between 4 projectors at this point. The Panny PT-AE900U, Sanyo PLV-Z4, Sony VPL-HS51A and the Optoma HD72. I too would like Clint's opinion on which he would prefer. It is really hard to pass up on the Panny with the current $700 rebate! $400 cash and $300 in Blockbuster coupons. On the other hand the Sanyo comes with a free spare lamp ($300). Both the Panasonic and the Sanyo can be had for approx. $1500 (taking rebates in to consideration). The best price I have seen on the Sony is $2500. Is the Sony $1000 better? I would be interested in seeing how Madagascar looks on the Panasonic vs the Sony! I have read both Clint's reviews and the AE900U outscores the Sony 71 vs 44. How is the Sony a 5 star value? Which projector would be better for standard definition viewing (Dish Network)? Will you be reviewing the Sanyo soon? Keep up the good work and Thanks! :)

One thing to check on with the HD72 is your ceiling height. I was on the AVS site last night researching this pj and they all said that if you had a ceiling ht of 8' or less to forget this model. It has no lens shift from what I read, so any less and you have to mount your screen too low, especially if you have a larger screen. A couple of the posters were talking about using it with an eight foot ceiling and how hard it was to get the picture just right. They were saying that 1/8" to 1/4" movement of the pj was making a huge difference. Anyone here have any experience with this pj to verify this?
 
A

awesomebase

Audioholic
Ruby?

mtrycrafts said:
Yes, as stated above, that is the Ruby, as it is known in some circles, at AVS.

High contrast gives that film level shadings in dark scenes valued by videophiles. So, I am not sure where the limit is.

That Ruby is a 3 color processor, LCOS. It was very well reviewed in Wide Screen Review in Dec 05. It can put out the necessary foot-Lamberts what is a movie theater standard, 16 fL but on average few show. I am contemplating this Ruby.
Is the Ruby aka the Sony VPL-VW100? That looks like a good projector but I would be interested in seeing some reviews on it... ;)
 
T

The Dukester

Audioholic Chief
awesomebase said:
Is the Ruby aka the Sony VPL-VW100? That looks like a good projector but I would be interested in seeing some reviews on it... ;)

They are the same. There are reviews on the AVS site. It is a bit pricey, but a review from Clint would be nice for sure! :)
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
LEVESQUE said:
With some tweaking in the factory menu, I just measured my "Ruby" at 30000:1... :D Sony's settings for the iris are not very good OOTB.

The picture is outstanding.

Thanks.:D I have been torn on this, reading different reviews and the foot Lambert just coming up to theater standard, but then bulb life decreases it over time.

What tweaking did you do in the factory menu? Easy to get into it?
One post by Garry, the WS reviewer, mentioned that the factory sharpness is defaulted to 255, yielding visible ringing issues and resetting to 0 caused it to disappear.

Now my concern is the offset above the screen in a taller room ceiling. I like one of the Chief lifts but it is only rated to 35Lbs. The ruby is 42 and wonder if that 7 extra lb makes a difference in lifting operation even though the factory warranty will be void:mad: overloaded condition of operation. Any ideas?
 
L

LEVESQUE

Junior Audioholic
mtrycrafts said:
What tweaking did you do in the factory menu? Easy to get into it??
5 clicks and your in the factory mode. Really easy to do. I don't know if I can post factory settings here, but here it goes. But don't try those settings if you don't know what you are doing!

In the factory mode, "Other" directory, change:

#43 to 140
#44 to 700.

Those are controlling the way the iris reacts from both ends of the luminance spectrum.

mtrycrafts said:
One post by Garry, the WS reviewer, mentioned that the factory sharpness is defaulted to 255, yielding visible ringing issues and resetting to 0 caused it to disappear.?
5 ip/sharp limit. Default at 255. I set it to 0
8 IP-VS 0 is off, default 1 is on I turned this to 0= off.
18 IP-VS LIMIT default 64 I set this to 0
19 IP-VS CORE 4. Set it to 0

No more ringing. :D
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
LEVESQUE said:
5 clicks and your in the factory mode. Really easy to do. I don't know if I can post factory settings here, but here it goes. But don't try those settings if you don't know what you are doing!
In the factory mode, "Other" directory, change:
#43 to 140
#44 to 700.
Those are controlling the way the iris reacts from both ends of the luminance spectrum.
5 ip/sharp limit. Default at 255. I set it to 0
8 IP-VS 0 is off, default 1 is on I turned this to 0= off.
18 IP-VS LIMIT default 64 I set this to 0
19 IP-VS CORE 4. Set it to 0
No more ringing. :D

Great. I made notes and attached to my preplanning papers:D The 8ip, 18ip, 19ip also needs to be adjusted to eliminate the ringing? Gary only mentioned #5.
Did you notice a decrease in lumens from these changes?
Is there are sheet what all those setting are for?
 

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